Tania Giannouli, Paulo Chagas: Forest Stories (Rattle)

 |   |  1 min read

Gannouli/Chagas: This Beautiful Hard Way
Tania Giannouli, Paulo Chagas: Forest Stories (Rattle)

Although not on the Rattle Jazz imprint, these eight diverse, melodic and mood shifting pieces are pure improvisations for piano (Giannouli) and saxes/flutes/clarinets (Chagas) and evoke something of the timelessness, emotional space and natural power of the forests of the title.

Without much difficulty -- and let's be honest, pure improvisation along these lines can be hard going for most -- the thoughtful listener can hear elements of the players' classical training in melodic progressions as much as the nudges towards visceral free jazz when the energy is let off the leash.

From their quite different backgrounds (she Greek, he Portuguese) they find common ground in their willingness to take the risk of a blank page, extrapolate from emotional spaces (the repeated dark piano figure of This Beautiful Hard Way inviting the ballad treatment which Chagas explores on flute as her lines become more fluid and elevating) and not be fearful of space/silence.

There is also great delicacy here -- the reflective closing piece The Way Back Home -- and over the arc from the increasingly confident if dark opener Step By Step (which reads like a walk into a brooding woodland) through the evocative tones of Is This Forever? to those thoughtful final passages, this feels like a poetic journey through space and time as much as music.

Much more approachable and than the description "pure improvisation" might suggest because these players -- who have an intuitive understanding of each other -- can draw of vast traditions of classical and jazz for ideas.

Of and in the moment.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Roger Manins: Trio (Rattle Jazz)

Roger Manins: Trio (Rattle Jazz)

Taking the pulse of New Zealand jazz is difficult: just because there are festivals (which rely on imported drawcards) and the annual Tauranga event (a guaranteed core audience because of its... > Read more

PETER BROTZMANN INTERVIEWED (2014): Freedom isn't frightening

PETER BROTZMANN INTERVIEWED (2014): Freedom isn't frightening

German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann – on a short solo tour early next month – recalls the only other time he was here. In the Eighties he and bassist Peter Kowald offered their... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Benjamin Escoriza: Alevanta! (Riverboat/Elite)

Benjamin Escoriza: Alevanta! (Riverboat/Elite)

This may be a tough call for most, unless you have heard and loved Radio Tarifa, a rocking Spanish band that brought together a happy marriage of North African music, Spanish flamenco, Latin and... > Read more

The Tokey Tones: Butterfly, Caterpillar  (2007)

The Tokey Tones: Butterfly, Caterpillar (2007)

It’s a common occurrence: just when popular music has got up a head of steam, some supportive critical consensus, and is charging off in a particular direction along comes something which, by... > Read more